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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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The situation on the Russian front at the end of 1941 had grown so
serious that Moscow,, together with the other twenty-five States, signed
the Washington Declaration, thereby confirming (this time without
restriction) the edicts of the Atlantic Charter. Only when Molotov
signed the Pact with Great Britain on May 26,1942 (wherein the partners
had given the assurance that they would not endeavour to increase their
territory nor intervene in the internal affairs of any other State), did he
emphasise that the Soviet Empire was the Empire of 1941* i.e., including
the territories Russia had occupied by her Agreement with Germany.
It can be deduced that the British statesmen,, in hastily placing their
signatures to this Pact, did not fully realise the dangerous potentialities
of the Russian ruling circles, and did not anticipate that future Russian
territorial demands would be executed on the basis of the c desire' of the
population in the countries concerned. And, moreover, that once in
Russian hands, those countries would, through the medium of the
N.K.VJX and the Soviet-organised plebiscites, be practically one hundred
per cent. c unanimous * in expressing this * desire.'
The Kremlin knew from the beginning that its war-aims would prove
incompatible to those of its other Allies. In the early months of 1942,
Moscow began to take the first steps in order to persuade her partners to
modify those intentions so solemnly expressed in the Atlantic Charter or
rather, to adopt instead the Soviet interpretation of them. To comply
with this, the Allies would have to refrain from any mention of the
integrity and restoration of certain states and discuss the fate of only that
part of Europe which the Kremlin was willing to discuss . . . Instead,
they would have to listen to the talk of changes which should be made in
the governmental systems ofe liberated * nations, rectification of frontiers
by the will of the strongest Powers, spheres of influence, oil, access to
the sea for these great Powers, slave-labour after the war and compensa-
tion for the big states at the expense of the weaker allies. They would
have to consent to the same method of bargaining in discussions as had
been used in the negotiations between Russia and Germany from the
Spring of 1939, they would be forced to descend from the realms of ideal-
ism and to talk in the blunt language of c real politics,3 in the language
of£ cash terms/
Great Britain had begun the war against Germany standing by her
policy of opposing any Power who was endeavouring to obtain hegemony
of the Continent. It was a policy which corresponded|advantageously
with the interests of the peoples of Europe, and Great Britain, in not
fighting for herself alone, could justly claim that she had joined the war
on ideological grounds. For the succeeding years, therefore, she was in
a position to proclaim the moral|reasons for her participation in the
struggle. A fact which, howeyer/was of little interest to the Kremlin.
Indeed, the speeches of the Russian statesmen after signing the Pact with